Extrapolation Factory

Futurematic, 2014

1. Insert coins or bills.
2. Identify your desired item and enter unique selection code.
3. Artifact from the future will be dispensed below.

By following these simple steps, Toronto residents had the luxury of purchasing a variety of extraordinary products from a vending machine, filled with pieces of possible tomorrows, at Ontario College of Art and Design University.

The contents of the Futurematic Vending Machine were created in a workshop co-created by The Extrapolation Factory and The Situation Lab , a project organized by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson at OCADU. The machine’s anachronistic inventory was the result of a day-long process in which participants imagined and prototyped artifacts from wildly varying scenarios, using a card deck developed by The Situation Lab called "The Thing From The Future."

On a frigid Saturday morning, participants convened at OCADU for the inaugural use of the card deck. Newly designed by the Situation Lab, the cards were used to create dozens of diverse scenario prompts from among close to one million possible permutations.  Small groups of participants focused their energy on specific possibilities suggested by the cards, imagining artifacts from the future that could exist at the intersection of four different cards chosen by players.

A prototyping station at the design jam was stocked with an assortment of oddities, trinkets, foods, packaging, spare parts, craft materials, tools and adhesives - all at the disposal of attendees.  Graphic designers were also ready to help participants package and brand their creations in order to communicate the ideas more clearly.

By the end of a full day of visioning and making, objects began to materialize. All were finally put on sale in the Futurematic vending machine.  Items included the Medi Boop (nipple-mounted early breast cancer detection device); a Childshare Info Kit (‘52 parents are better than two’); and a DIY ecosystem replication kit from the Congo.

See more documentation of the workshop on Flickr